Talk:Federal Reserve Note

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Criticism of Federal Reserve Notes[edit]

Criticism of Federal Reserve Notes: Ron Paul as a notable critic[edit]

It is inappropriate for an encyclopedia to focus on one person's criticism of a subject. This section greatly devalues this page, and the removal of references to him. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:02, 3 September 2009 (UTC)

I agree - Ron Paul is certainly not the first or most well-researched critic of fiat currency. He should not be named outright, it makes this article look like it was written by the Tea Party when it is mostly factually informative (particularly the 'Value' section) Adamnelson (talk) 14:44, 29 August 2010 (UTC)
Important clarification -- while you have a point when you say that Ron Paul was not the first critic of fiat currency, that topic is not what *this* article is about. This article is about Federal Reserve Notes, a particular fiat currency of a particular country in a particular historical period. Ron Paul is a notable critic of Federal Reserve Notes, specifically -- since Congress created the Federal Reserve, other folks in Congress that criticize Notes might also be considered notable, but most of them are younger and/or less experienced in their criticism, whereas Ron Paul was chair of Domestic Monetary Policy & Technology subcommittee until 2013 -- and thus belongs (as a named critic) in this article specifically about Federal Reserve Notes. Whether he belongs in the distinct article on fiat currency in general would be debatable, but that debate belongs on the fiat-currency talk-page. (talk) 20:17, 28 June 2013 (UTC)

I agree. The sections on fiat money and constitutionality should be removed. Ron Paul's views are not relevant and devalue the encyclopedia. User: Adam

Strongly disagree -- you imply that Ron Paul is the only person who says federal reserve notes are fiat currency (or argues against fiat currencies on general grounds), and further imply that Ron Paul is the only person who questions the Constitutionality of fiat currencies aka bills of credit in general, and Federal Reserve Notes in particular. As a quick googling of the internet will show, he is not the only person to hold such views, nor the first. See for instance Timberlake[1] in 2013, Nixon v St Joseph Mortgage in 1985, US v Rickman in 1980, US v Wangrund 1976, US v Schmitz in 1976, Milam v US in 1974, Martin_Mahoney and Jerome Daley and Bill Drexler in 1969, various and sundry folks during the Gold Clause cases in the 1930s, and Stephen Johnson Field in 1884 (dissenting opinion in one of the cases that justified the creation of the Fed around three decades later). The point here is not whether arguments about the constitutionality of federal reserve notes are correct or incorrect -- the point is that there is long-standing controversy over the question, which cannot be arbitrarily decided by wikipedia-editors without violating NPOV. The sections deserve to remain, but ought to be fleshed out with names of other notable critics, besides just Ron Paul, and should specify why he is notable (as subcommittee chair and also possibly as a presidential candidate -- other presidential candidates I know of who criticized federal reserve notes are Gary Johnson of the libertarian party, and Lyndon LaRouche of the democratic party ... Barry Goldwater spoke out against the Fed, but perhaps not Federal Reserve Notes and fiat currencies specifically?). (talk) 20:17, 28 June 2013 (UTC)

Agreed. A single congressman's opinion on an entire banking system isn't particularly useful in understanding what a Federal Reserve Note is. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:20, 29 August 2012 (UTC)

Clarification -- there is an existing article about Political positions of Ron Paul which explain his opinions on a variety of subjects, and an existing article about the Federal Reserve which explains the entire banking system (of the country ... see also Banking for the int'l view of the subject), but this particular article -- we are on the talk-page of said article -- is about Federal Reserve Notes, the paper that you carry around in your wallet. To understand what it is, deeply, you have to understand whether it is Constitutional, and if so how, and you have to understand how the money supply is controlled, of which Federal Reserve Notes are a portion, and you have to understand what backs the Notes. We currently have two out of three sections; there may also be other crucial sections which I've forgotten to mention. (talk) 20:17, 28 June 2013 (UTC)

Criticism of Federal Reserve Notes: Lawful money[edit]

I believe the statement to be false. In any case, the Treasury Department link, supposedly supporting it, is dead. According to at least one law report, the "lawful money" you get is another FRN. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 16:36, 18 April 2010 (UTC)

We have enough legal and other cites on the TALK page of the money article, and the legal tender cases article, to put in a section on ==Lawful money?== in this FRN article, and I think we should. It comes up again and again, and there would be some central place that internet readers can go to see it. SBHarris 19:24, 18 April 2010 (UTC)

Criticism of Federal Reserve Notes: NPOV - "Backed by Nothing"[edit]

The Federal Reserve Note is backed by absolutely nothing and has been subject to hyperinflation? Sounds like bias to me, and not a neutral point-of-view. There needs to be balance here. A response to the criticism by backers of fiat currency should be added. The last sentence is clearly not neutral in tone, nor supported by any references.A Simple Wiki Nicky (talk) 20:09, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

I've had a suggestion that this be reviewed per WP:FRINGE. A Simple Wiki Nicky (talk) 20:40, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
So I was bold and tried to neutralize it myself. The section is now called "Fiat Currency" and could still use some citation (as could the whole "Criticism" section). A Simple Wiki Nicky (talk) 21:07, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
For what I think is a more balanced view, see Six Kinds of United States Paper Currency. The essayist states that he is not a "gold bug," and favors fiat currency IF it is properly regulated. The home page states its purpose as:

Taking up again the tradition of the Friesian School, this is a non-peer-reviewed electronic journal and archive of philosophy, inaugurated on line July 6, 1996, four years before the end of the 20th Century, just as the brilliant, courageous, prolific, and little appreciated German philosopher Leonard Nelson (1882-1927) started his Abhandlungen der Fries'schen Schule, Neue Folge, attempting a "Reformation of Philosophy," four years after the beginning of the 20th Century. Pawyilee (talk) 08:30, 19 September 2008 (UTC)

So, the complaint about backed-by-nothing being too biased seems to be satisfied. Here is the current language, as of 2013-06-28.
Intro section == "...backed by ... all collectively ... the twelve Federal Reserve Banks... Federal Reserve Notes are backed by the assets of the Federal Reserve Banks, which serve as collateral under Federal Reserve Act Section 16. These assets are generally Treasury securities which have been purchased by the Federal Reserve through its Federal Open Market Committee in a process called debt monetizing."
Value section == "Present-day Federal Reserve Notes are not backed by convertibility to any specific commodity, but only by the legal requirement that they are issued against collateral."
Criticism section, Fiat currency subsection == "...criticize Federal Reserve Notes because they are a form of fiat currency and are not backed by tangible assets such as gold or silver. Such critics argue that Federal Reserve Notes can lose value easily and point to the currency's inflation rates as proof of this claim.[28]"
Seems pretty good and neutral to me, but the intro-section could definitely be improved. Currently it is full of jargon: collateral, aka Treasury securities, aka debt-monetization. When translated into plain english, what it boils down to is that Federal Reserve Notes are sort of like a promissary note aka an IOU, where the government promises to back the Notes using future taxation as the collateral asset -- is this a good layman's translation of debt-monetization? Clearly future taxation is not a tangible commodity (let alone a specific tangible commodity like gold or silver), so the layman's explanation will help readers understand why the value-section and the criticism-section say the things they do. (talk) 21:09, 28 June 2013 (UTC)
I offer the foregoing as my opinions as to how and where certain topics should be covered, please take them for what they are worth.Pithecanthropus4152 (talk) 04:45, 26 October 2013 (UTC)
I disagree with the neutrality of this section, and libertarian "gold bugs" need to stop bringing up the issue of debt monetization and fiat money versus commodity money in articles that are specific to the United States or its currency. Because most if not all countries had likewise abandoned the full gold standard by the early 20th century and eventually desisted completely from defining their currencies in terms of gold, this was obviously a worldwide phenomenon. Moreover, with regard to the United States, the extraordinarily high inflation rates of the 1910s and 1940s[1] offer convincing evidence that even a full gold standard, let alone the Bretton-Woods price peg, was no guarantee against inflation. The advantages and disadvantages of the gold standard, commodity money, fiat money, and so on should be covered in one or more articles which are about those topics generally, but not about one country. The experiences of the United States and other specific countries can be provided as illustrative examples of the principles involved, but they should not be used as the leading paragraphs when these topics are introduced.Pithecanthropus4152 (talk) 04:45, 26 October 2013 (UTC)

Criticism of Federal Reserve Notes: inflation, chronic inflation, high inflation, hyperinflation[edit]

At one time (circa 12 Sep 2008 per A Simple Wiki Nicky) there was something in the article about hyperinflation, which has since been removed (correctly -- that is the wrong term). There is mention of inflation in the criticism section, but with no description of the inflation, and no explanatory text either. It makes sense to define what sort of inflation the Federal Reserve Notes have demonstrated, historically, in a NPOV-compliant fashion. Clearly the historical behavior of gold-and-silver-backed currencies is dramatically different from the behavior of debt-monetization-backed Federal Reserve Notes since 1933 -- see this chart -- Just as clearly, the 1900s were a turning-point in the buying power of the dollar, see table on righthand side of this subsection -- What *is* the correct term to use for the sort of inflation the USA has experienced from 1933 through today? (talk) 21:09, 28 June 2013 (UTC) onal

At the risk of repeating myself, 20th Century inflation was an international phenomenon and obviously not limited to the United States. One need only look at other currencies such such as the pre-Euro currencies of Europe and the British pound to be convinced of this. Just as a 25-cent-piece was once enough to buy all sorts of things in the United States, the same was once likewise true of a shilling or two in the UK or of a 50-Pfennig-piece in Germany. I don't mean to suggest that inflation in the United States should be ignored, but the topic should not be presented merely as a cudgel for those who would denounce 20th Century American monetary policy. I don't say that this is done blatantly, but one can easily find examples of not-so-subtle hints to the same effect.. For example, the Wiktionary entry Dollar currently includes a picture of a silver certificate, as if to say This is what a real dollar looks like!. Pithecanthropus4152 (talk) 06:40, 26 October 2013 (UTC)

Criticism of Federal Reserve Notes: Bias[edit]

It is clear to me after reading some of the discussions on here about the constitutionality of Federal Reserve Notes that Wikipedia is biased and most likely run by politically correct bureaucratic big government officials. We the people, under our Constitution, define money as gold and silver. The government is no longer of the people, and so anything in the article supporting this fraud should be scrapped. It's not legal. The government is not above the citizenry, though they'd like to think they are. (talk) 08:57, 15 July 2011 (UTC)

Easier said than done, I know, but stop being crazy.-- (talk) 23:58, 2 September 2011 (UTC)

Criticism of Federal Reserve Notes: Constitutionality[edit]

The citation of the Minnesota trial court ( does not seem like it is from a very reliable source. Can anyone find a better one, and did the case stop there or did it go farther?PonileExpress (talk) 23:44, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

It isn't reliable at all. The "decision", by justice of the peace Martin Mahoney, was not precedential. See Minnesota State Law Library. Here is a copy of the complete case file from the same source. --Eastlaw talk · contribs 06:49, 27 January 2009 (UTC)

"No State shall ... make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; ...", according to Article I, Section 10 of the U.S.A. Constitution. Wiktionary's first definition for the noun "tender" states "A means of payment such as a check or cheque, cash or credit card" and the second definition states "(law) A formal offer to buy or sell something".

States in the U.S.A. have been making "Federal" Reserve notes a "means of payment" in payment of debts. States in the U.S.A. have been making "Federal" Reserve notes a "formal offer" in payment of debts. States in the U.S.A. have been making "Federal" Reserve notes a tender in payment of debts. "No State shall ... make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; ...", according to Article I, Section 10 of the U.S.A. Constitution. --Servant David (talk) 00:11, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

Well, no STATE did it. The federal government did it. The constitutionality has been tested many times, and view that only gold and silver coin can be tenders has lost every time. We even have an article Legal tender cases. Plus a lot of case law since. SBHarris 19:21, 18 April 2010 (UTC)
Before every time a state accepts a payment on debt, the state first makes something a "means of payment" for payment on debt. Before every time a state makes a payment on debt, the state first makes something an offer for payment on debt.
The U.S.A. Constitution is claimed to be the "Supreme Law of the land". Article VI, Section 2 states: "This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be Supreme Law of the land; and the Judges in every state shall be bound thereby, any thing in the Constitution or Laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding."
Trying to make a law which contradicts the Constitution is not making a law "in pursuance" of the Constitution. - Servant David (talk) 01:09, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
Completely wrong, as usual. The Federal Government makes FRNs "a Tender of Payment"; states accept them. The states are not making FRNs (or US coins, which are also not "gold or silver", but mostly copper and nickel) "a Tender of Payment". — Arthur Rubin (talk) 07:44, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
A necessary first requirement, for any entity to be able to pay with FRN's (or US coins), is for the entity to first offer to pay with FRN's (or US coins). States have been making FRN's an offer in payment of debts. - Servant David (talk) 18:08, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
@ServantDavid What are you talking about? The others have been pretty clear on this. There's already another article about the constitutionality issue and no state currently makes their own tender. It's not clear to me that you're making an actual argument. Can you please clarify what you're actually looking to accomplish with regards to the article? Adamnelson (talk) 14:50, 29 August 2010 (UTC)
The noun "tender" is defined as "an offer". In any financial transaction, there is an offer and an acceptance of the offer. In any financial transaction, when any state makes an offer, that state makes a tender. States currently engage in financial transactions in which they make their own offer. The article does not discuss Article I, Section 10, Clause 1 of the U.S.A. Constitution. - Servant David (talk) 13:46, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
I added a See Also pointing to the Legal tender cases article, which touch on that arguement (and find paper currency legal tender). Ravensfire (talk) 15:22, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
That article currently claims that "Article I, Section 10 of the Constitution explicitly forbids the states from ... making anything but gold and silver coin 'legal tender', ...". Article I, Section 10 of the U.S.A. Constitution does not use the term "legal tender". The term "legal tender" is defined differently than the noun "tender". - Servant David (talk) 16:37, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
Let me see if I understand your position, David. Every court in the country is wrong and you're right. Is that about it? --Steven J. Anderson (talk) 04:34, 6 November 2010 (UTC)
What courts claim that the term "legal tender" and the noun "tender" have the same definition? -Servant David (talk) 14:14, 12 November 2010 (UTC)

Criticism of Federal Reserve Notes: Currency?[edit]

Whoever wrote this article certainly does not understand the actual meaning of the word "currency".
It is totally impossible for legal tender to be "currency" because legal tender is nothing more than a promissory note; the transaction is NOT current until that note is paid off.
The FRNs in circulation today are not even legal tender because they don't have the four required aspects of a promissory note (Payee, payer, date, amount) and they are not redeemable in lawful money. unsigned comment by IP user:

You might want to actually READ the legal tender page. I don't see anything there which suggests the US FRNs are not legal tender. It appears to be your understanding of legal tender that is circumspect... Nil Einne 16:54, 28 May 2006 (UTC)

Criticism of Federal Reserve Notes: Adding citation-needed for 'generally ignores', despite hidden-HTML-comment telling me not to do so[edit]

Here is the text of the final paragraph in the Constitutionality subsection: Anti-Federal Reserve argumentation generally ignores[citation needed] established U.S. Supreme Court precedent McCulloch v. Maryland, which ruled constitutional the Second Bank of the United States, forerunner to the Federal Reserve. McCulloch explicitly states that Congressional delegation of these powers to chartered entities is valid under the Necessary and Proper Clause.

I've read the entire article on McCulloch, and it says absolutely nothing about the statistics of how many modern anti-federal-reserve-arguments ignore the McCulloch precedent, and how many modern anti-federal-reserve-arguments take cognizance of McCulloch; in fact, there is no mention of the Federal Reserve at all, in that article, just 19th-century stuff, with no 20th-century stuff. Therefore, the first six words of this paragraph positively deserve citation-needed tags, at least until the incorrect 'generally ignores' are removed, or justified with an actual citation. So, I added the citation-needed portion today, myself.

Whilst doing so, I noticed the following hidden-HTML-comment, embedded directly in the article, at the bottom of the above article-paragraph: DO NOT add "citation needed" tags to this paragraph. The link to the McCulloch v. Maryland article, which contains ample reference links to its text and to commentaries on that decision, is sufficient citation for this entire[citation needed] paragraph; cite tags here amount to non-NPOV statements by those who favor the arguments against the Fed presented in the preceding paragraphs.

As you can see, I also modified the contents of that hidden-HTML-comment, which seems decidedly non-neutral and over-aggressive, because I don't think the *entire* last paragraph of the FRN article is supported by the text of McCulloch (either the wikipedia-article or the court-documents). In particular, the 'generally ignores' claim is not covered, at all. I'd like to rewrite the paragraph, so that the 'generally ignores' phrase is either cited or removed, and if at all possible, eliminate the hidden-HTML-comment. (If not possible to remove it outright, then I suggest we modify the hidden-HTML-comment to make it more NPOV, and to make it assume good faith. Something like, 'BEFORE adding citation-needed tags to this paragraph, please see the McCulloch subsection of the talk-page for this article' ... and then create such a talk-page subsection, which gives the rationale for why adding citation-needed is discouraged.) When is the last time cite-needed was added erroneously to this article-paragraph? (talk) 13:50, 29 June 2013 (UTC)

Criticism of Federal Reserve Notes: Correcting the explanation of de jure Constitutionality, which needs more than just McCulloch[edit]

Clearly, McCulloch is 100% a valid precedent that Congress may establish a central bank, and delegate Constitutional powers thereto, such as the Federal Reserve in 1913, or such as the 2nd Bank Of The U.S. back in roughly 1816. However, the key difference between the 1816 bank and the 1913 bank is that the former issued *coin* as authorized by the constitutional phrase 'to coin money' whereas the latter primarily issues at present 'federal reserve notes' which are paper money backed by neither gold nor silver. Congress can delegate their power to *coin* money, per McCulloch, as they did in 1816, but they cannot delegate their power to issue scrip-paper, because there is no such power in the enumerated list.

The power to issue paper-scrip, and most crucially to make it legal tender (which Madison believed was the key prohibition in the Constitution), is covered by the Legal Tender Cases of the 1860s thru 1880s, set off by greenback issuance during the Civil War, the last of which was Julliard in 1884. The nutshell explanation of that case is that it constructs the implied power of 'regulate the national currency', and combines it with the enumerated power 'to borrow money', but uses these Constitutional powers in a novel way: rather than the plain English meaning of to borrow money as enumerated in the Constitution, which would be the USA borrowing money from Japan (say), Julliard permits the USA to borrow money from a quasi-independent central bank... and then regulate the value thereof, despite it being paper-money, rather than "coin". Julliard cites Briscoe 1837 and also Missouri 1830, during the pet-bank era, for additional support beyond McCulloch: these also deserve passing mention in the section of the article which Constitutionally justifies federal reserve notes (especially Briscoe which permitted state-govt paper-money banks).

At this point, we have enough de jure evidence that (based on modifications to the interpretation of the Constitution embodied in McCulloch and Briscoe and Julliard) would permit the formation of a Federal Reserve, and the issuance of early 1914-thru-1932 series Federal Reserve Notes, which were directly convertible (i.e. backed by) gold and silver, at least nominally. However, the justification for Constitutionality of modern 1933-or-1935-to-present Federal Reserve Notes is not complete, until we cover the Gold Clause cases of the 1930s. Passing mention of the 1968 and 1971 events (see comments elsewhere on this talk-page about monetary history) may also help to provide useful context.

Critics of the Federal Reserve Notes (modern ones as well as dissenting justices at the time) have attacked the various court decisions in various ways. Timberlake, for instance, sees Julliard as containing a subjunctive syllogism -- ditto for Knox, a related case from the 1800s. Other critics have pointed out flaws in Briscoe, or even Marbury v Madison (the 1803 case where the SCOTUS was defined as the determiner of unconstitutionality). Yes yes, just because some critic dislikes the Julliard decision, does not mean that Julliard is not the de jure law of the land -- but merely because a court case is over, does not mean the controversy ends. Consider the modern Citizens United decision in 2010, or the Patient Protection Act decision in 2012. There are still critics of those decisions, and will likely be attempts to reverse them, someday. Wikipedia is supposed to present the facts; and the fact is, Federal Reserve Notes depend for their existence on a startlingly (to the mind of this wiki-editor at least...) large number of controversial-at-the-time court cases, many of which enjoy controversial status even to this day. This article ought to report notable controversies, but furthermore, it ought to explain the complex web of court decisions that led to the Federal Reserve Notes, partly as history, and partly to explain modern and historic controversies.

I have another talk-page subsection above, related to 'generally ignored' phrase and the hidden-HTML-comment, which I would like to get out of the way first, before going forward with expansion of the counter-criticism paragraph-contents, so that the explanation goes beyond mere McCulloch. If anyone wants to offer draft suggestions here on the talk-page, that would be great, otherwise, I can put together a new version of the paragraph in the main article, later this weekend. (talk) 13:58, 29 June 2013 (UTC)

History of Federal Reserve Notes[edit]

History of Federal Reserve Notes: Removed paragraph [later update: which one exactly?][edit]

I looked through the Federal Reserve Act and it doesn't say this.

Congress has specified that a Federal Reserve Bank must hold collateral equal in value to the Federal Reserve Notes that the Bank receives. This collateral is chiefly gold certificates and United States government securities. This provides backing for the note issue. The idea was that if the Congress dissolved the Federal Reserve System, the United States would take over the notes (liabilities). This would meet the requirements of Section 411, but the government would also take over the assets, which would be of equal value. Federal Reserve Notes represent a first lien on all the assets of the Federal Reserve Banks, and on the collateral specifically held against them.

History of Federal Reserve Notes: History of central banks?[edit]

The history section says "The first central bank was X. Then it was Y. Then it was Z... The first notes were the 1914 series." What does all that preface have to do with banknotes? This is an article on Notes, not on central banking. TheHYPO (talk) 03:04, 14 July 2008 (UTC)

Partially agree. Maybe re-title the existing subsection Background, rather than History? The info is worth keeping, methinks. Then create a new subsection, called History, which gives the name of the first designer of actual 1914 series Federal Reserve Notes, the story of the redesign in 1928, the explanation of how Notes came to replace coinage in 1933-1935, numismatic highlights, and the other interesting facts about the history of Federal Reserve Notes (themselves). Current 'history' subsection is indeed a summary-history of central banking in the USA, not of Federal Reserve Notes ... and in most cases, the predecessor-institutions did not produce anything even analogically equivalent to federal-reserve-notes, with the exception of greenbacks during the Civil War (and those were *not* officially from a central bank because at the time there was officially no central bank). (talk) 21:20, 28 June 2013 (UTC)

History of Federal Reserve Notes: since 1933[edit]

Since this article was created in february 2003, it says: "Federal Reserve notes are fiat currency, which means that they are not redeemable in gold, silver or any other commodity. This has been the case since 1933."

I think this has to be 1971, since the gold standard was abolished in that year. But since "1933" has been up there for so long I thought I'd ask first. Warniats 14:57, 6 March 2006 (UTC)

It should be 1968 when the Treasury Dept. stopped paying out silver bullion. Also, 1971 was when the U.S. dollar stopped being internationally redeemed in gold. However, this pertains to banks/finacial institutions. --Kurt 08:44, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
The use of 'since 1933' is correct, because this is the article about Federal Reserve Notes (e.g. the $20 bill in your wallet right now is a Federal Reserve Note). When the first Federal Reserve Notes were released (sometime after the 1913 founding of the Fed ... but I don't remember exactly when), they were redeemable in gold (or silver methinks), and nominally backed by gold. Still, at the time many commercial contracts, since the 1884 decision in Julliard, had a gold-clause that specified payment was *only* acceptable in gold. The gold-clause cases of 1933 thru 1935 eliminated the use of gold as money by domestic citizens, via mandatory confiscation of all domestically-owned gold coin (in exchange for Federal Reserve Notes of considerably smaller realdollar value), but the *country* was still on the gold standard, in terms of international transactions amongst governments. Gold became a controlled substance, which you could own for industrial purposes like jewelry-plating, but which no longer could be used as coinage by private citizens -- governments still traded with each other in gold, but usually as big bars, not coinage. There were several changes in the late 1960s and early 1970s: nixon ended the (int'l govt-to-govt) gold standard, so all int'l currencies became floating fiat currencies rather than gold-backed ones, and around the same time, private citizens were again allowed to own gold for investment purposes and/or commodity purposes ... but not for coinage-purposes, since gold is subject to sales tax and the like, same as bubblegum. My understanding is that none of the 1960s and 1970s decisions impacted the status of Federal Reserve Notes aka paper-money-in-the-cash-register; it was not replaced by gold for domestic use, and it was not called into service for int'l govt-to-govt use (they mostly do business in electronic fashion rather than in terms of physical paper-money). (talk) 18:18, 28 June 2013 (UTC)

History of Federal Reserve Notes: Default?[edit]

In relation to the "since 1933" section above, the history of the FRN ought to be elaborated upon. Originally the Fed note was redeemable in ounces of gold at a ratio of about 20:1. Under FDR in 1933 in the midst of the Depression, private gold ownership was made illegal for U.S. citizens (gold was supposed to be turned in) and the former FRN obligation was formally defaulted upon by government edict. The ratio was then reset at 35:1 via the gold window for foreign Central Banks only, I believe. It was again defaulted upon under Nixon when the gold window was closed in 1971. The word default may seem overdone, but the prior arrangement was without questioned reneged upon, leaving holders with an inflationary settlement of pennies on the original dollar of purchasing power.

But this raises questions about U.S. dollars vs. Federal Reserve notes, etc. which I don't have the time to dig into.

Thoughts? --VigilantInvestor 19:09, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

"Most people associate the noun 'dollar' with the Federal Reserve Note ('FRN') 'dollar bill', engraved with the portrait of President George Washington. This association is mistaken. No statute defines - or ever has defined - the 'one dollar' FRN as the 'dollar', or even as a species of 'dollar'", wrote Edwin Vieira, Jr. in "What Is A 'Dollar'"?. In 1973, Public Law 93-110 defined the U.S.A. dollar as having the value of 1/42.2222 fine troy ounces of gold. --Servant David (talk) 21:19, 30 August 2009 (UTC)

Redirects and synonyms[edit]

Redirects and synonyms: FRN?[edit]

I have never encountered the term FRN (pronounced 'fern'). It's an obvious initialism, but to call out the 'pronunciation' without a citation seems suspect. Can anyone cite a source for this?--Fred 6 July 2005 07:06 (UTC)

I first heard FRN used as a synonym for paper-money-in-your-wallet just last year -- obviously that doesn't mean it was coined then! However, even a cursory search on the internet suggests that FRN is a well-established acronym meaning 'floating rate note' which is some sort of securities-related debt entity, as contrasted with a fixed-rate debt entity. See question by another person below, about confusion between *that* sort of FRN and the current wikipedia usage. It would be helpful if somebody with expertise in the world of macro-economics and financial-markets could weigh in on the question: is FRN used commonly for *both* floating rate notes in the debt-finance-world, and also for federal reserve notes in the macro-economic-policy world? Or is the latter usage a backronym, which ought to be eliminated? I'm leaning toward backronym as the answer, but do not know enough about these spheres. (talk) 18:29, 28 June 2013 (UTC)
In the mean time, can somebody that knows more about wikipedia-syntax please create a disambiguation page for , to replace the existing auto-redirect? There are already articles on both topics: the article-page for this talk-page, of course, and floating rate note for the debt-instrument. (talk) 18:29, 28 June 2013 (UTC)

Redirects and synonyms: FRN abbrv.[edit]

Suggest to put a link at top of this page to Floating rate note, which also has abbrv. FRN, as someone don't know what's FRN searching "FRN" in wikipedia will lead to this page. Really confusing (at lease it confuses me) (talk) 09:03, 10 September 2009 (UTC)

Redirects and synonyms: Federal Reserve note/Note[edit]

I have moved this article back to Federal Reserve note. There is no grammatical justification for DieYuppieScum's decision to move it to Federal Reserve Note. "Federal Reserve Note" is not a proper noun any more than "Treasury bill" or "U.S. government bond" is. --Tysto 22:08, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

Ok, then my justification would be the 5 books that I own that call these notes "Federal Reserve Notes". --Kurt 08:42, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
I based my assertion on both grammar comparisons to "Treasury bill" and others and on my original search of government sites, which yielded results like this Treasury Department glossary and this Minneapolis Fed glossary and this Federal Reserve glossary. I also found this CNN Money glossary and this Business Journalism glossary. However investor and collector sites tend to capitalize every entry, and additional searches show very haphazard usage even on government sites and even this Treasury Department glossary, which fails to capitalize even the "Federal Reserve" part, so I give up. You do what you want. --Tysto 02:34, 24 April 2006 (UTC)
I think you are right, howver I'm awaiting more comments at Talk:Demand Note Rich Farmbrough 09:00 26 May 2006 (UTC).

Redirects and synonyms: Historical $1 bills[edit]

Although this page is meant to be about Federal Reserve notes, I also consider it standard to use as the page for the $1 bill, paralleling the pages such as U.S. twenty dollar bill for the denominations from $5 to $100. However, these pages now have their pre-Federal Reserve history, talking about 3 historical kinds of notes, United States Notes, Silver certificates, and Gold certificates. Where should we put the pre-Federal Reserve history of the $1 bill?? 16:09, 2 May 2004 (UTC)

Redirects and synonyms: Merge with United States Dollar?[edit]

Should this article and the article, United States dollar, be merged? Thoughts...? ask123 (talk) 16:25, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

No, currently Federal Reserve Notes include $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100 notes as well and not just $1.00 notes. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 14:54, 24 May 2010 (UTC)

Redirects and synonyms: United States Banknote[edit]

It would seem that the redirect from United States Banknote to Federal Reserve Note may be misleading. A Federal Reserve Note is only one of many types of United States Banknote. The redirect gives the impression that the two are interchangeable terms. Curious about opinions... Godot13 (talk) 22:24, 6 January 2013 (UTC)

There are several sorts of 'banknotes' in existence, for coin-collections mostly... but some were also used as money, up until roughly 1965-1971 when the most recent big changeover happened.
Bank of North America, backed by TBD, 1782-1785
1st Bank of the U.S. banknotes, backed by gold, 1791- (or 1792- or 1795-) thru 1811 (later became Girard Bank 1811-1983)
2nd Bank of the U.S. banknotes, backed by gold, 1817-1836 (or 1841 as a pet-bank of Pennsylvania)
Pet-banking-notes from 1837-1860s were issued by various state and local entities (also existed -- and issued notes -- since 1781).
Greenbacks issued during the 1860s, which *methinks* are the same as 'U.S. Notes' which were issued in some form[2] all the way through 1971. Pet-bank-notes still existed during this time, but new regulations and asymmetrical taxation started killing them off -- until the invention of the checking-account in the late 1800s (by 1890 about 90% of the money-supply was kept that way).
Gold Certificates 1863-1933.
Silver Certificates 1878-1964.
FeRN#1, Federal Reserve Notes 1914-1932, backed by gold (and maybe silver), and simultaneously circulating with U.S. Notes and gold/silver/cupronickel coinage.
FeRN#2, Federal Reserve Notes 1933-1950, backed by future taxation, simultaneously circulating with U.S. Notes and silver/cupronickel/warmetal coinage. (During this period, the Federal Reserve System was effectively 'nationalized' underneath the Executive Branch.)
FeRN#3, Federal Reserve Notes 1951-1964, same as FeRN#2 except Fed is again quasi-independent.
FeRN#4, Federal Reserve Notes 1965-1981, backed by future taxation, simultaneously circulating with cupronickel coinage.
FeRN#5, Federal Reserve Notes 1982-present, backed by future taxation, simultaneously circulating with cupronickel & zinc coinage.
See also Banknote#Banknotes_in_the_United_States, which is where I suggest the 'United States Banknote' redirect should go. (talk) 19:03, 29 June 2013 (UTC)

Redirects and synonyms: Obsolete slang?[edit]

I took out this from the section on slang:

, some of which ("fin" or "finif", "sawbuck" and "double-sawbuck") are now obsolete

I'm not sure how slang terms become obsolete. Fin comes from Yiddish, which is still spoken, and sawbuck comes from the image of the roman numeral X invoking a carpentry implement. (talk) 13:18, 28 August 2009 (UTC)

Yiddish origin or not, I wonder if "fin" didn't spread because the Roman number V looks a bit like a shark fin (inverted). Or a pectoral, even without inverting. SBHarris 19:18, 18 April 2010 (UTC)

Appearance of and markings on Federal Reserve Notes[edit]

Appearance of and markings on Federal Reserve Notes: Great Seal[edit]

It seems that almost all of the "Back side" chapter describes the Great Seal, not the bill per se. Perhaps all that should be moved to the Great Seal's page, and replaced with something along the lines of

The back side features the Great Seal of the United States, first used in, along with the national motto In God We Trust.

("In God We Trust", about the only text on the bill that isn't related to the Seal or the number one, is currently not mentioned.)--Max power 18:30, 23 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Appearance of and markings on Federal Reserve Notes: Largest value ?[edit]

Is there no dollar note worth more than 100$ ? Are all notes of the same size - which if so ? Is the 1$ and 2$ still notes, not coins ? (talk) 02:14, 5 December 2012 (UTC)

Appearance of and markings on Federal Reserve Notes: Bank Series[edit]

It will be interesting to add information about which bank has printead each series. Not all banks A-L (1-12) has printed all series. I cant find that information on the Web. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:52, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

Appearance of and markings on Federal Reserve Notes: Serial numbers[edit]

This article is missing a description of the logic behind the serial numbers on the notes. I found some info on that in the German Wikipedia, but there are faults so it won't help translating the German article. Andy296 (talk) 15:57, 21 January 2013 (UTC)

Appearance of and markings on Federal Reserve Notes: Appearance of US banknotes[edit]

Why do all US banknotes look the same? The design and colour choice is pretty much identical. Only the bloke on one side and the scenery on the other side varies. Compared to the currency of pretty much any other country, there is very little variety. Almost all other countries have different-valued banknotes in noticeably different colours. I wonder if there is a general attitude in the US that coloured money is rubbish and worthless, and "real" money has to look drab, bland, boring and uninteresting? — JIP | Talk 13:55, 29 November 2005 (UTC)

Yeah, there's a perception that colored money is "monopoly money". Some people complained even about the small amount of color recently added to teh $20 and $50 bills. Personally, I'd be all for beautifully colored bills, but it's not going to happen soon Nik42 05:39, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
I'd like to know what they think about the fact that some coloured money (Euros, British pounds) is worth more than US dollars. — JIP | Talk 05:41, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
*shrug* I don't think they think it makes it worthless, just that it doesn't look like money. I'm in the minority, who would love to see colored bills with different sizes, and better designs. Polymer, too. And coins for low denominations ($1, $2, $5, and maybe even $10) The reverse of the $2 bill is the only one I like in the current series. The old $10 was nice, too. Nik42 06:04, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
Most Americans never see other countries' currency. They have no need to use foreign currencies or exchange them, and don't know what the current exchange rates are. They're comparing U.S. currency against itself and against play money found in games like Monopoly. — Mateo SA (talk | contribs) 06:08, 18 November 2006 (UTC)

United State's currency looks similar just because the notes have looked the same way for so long. If they suddenly changed the color drastically the US dollar value would fall. The value of a US dollar is based soley on the faith of the people using it, and changes decrease faith signifigantly. Also, JIP, although the Euro and the GBP are worth more, MOST colored currencies are in fact worth less. Travis Cleveland 11:34, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

The faith does not derive from the bills being all green. The faith derives from the political, economic, and military power and stability. In fact, most banknotes in the world are colored by denominations. So it does not make sense to partition the world into two parts and compare, where one part consists of only the U.S. --ChoChoPK (球球PK) (talk | contrib) 17:52, 17 May 2007 (UTC)

ChoChoPK, I do agree with you on the "partition(ing of) the world into two parts", I was just trying to show JIP the unfairness of his assessment. However, the appearance of the US dollar DOES have an affect on the faith people have in it; changing the color cold-turkey would without a shadow of a doubt decrease its value. If the color were to be changed, it would have to be done slowly over time (which is actually being done now). Travis Cleveland 01:59, 24 May 2007 (UTC)

As an almost-annual visitor to the USA, the fact that all US banknotes are the same size and practically the same colour confuses the hell out of me, particularly in dimly-lit bars! And don't get me started on the dime being smaller than the nickel...Mr Larrington (talk) 12:30, 23 June 2010 (UTC)

Appearance of and markings on Federal Reserve Notes: written signatures versus printed signatures[edit]

Do the people actually sign each bill? This is not clearly stated in the article, and is a topic of debate in my family.

No, they don't. 8,758,400,000 bills were printed in fiscal year 2005. Even if those individuals signed them nonstop, that would work out to be 278 bills per SECOND Nik42 05:39, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

Initially they did (or had someone do it for them) that ended real fast, this was when paper money first appeared as we know it in the US in about 1865, so no.

I think the Treasury note was the first (around 1812). Signature actually signed or printed, I don't know. --ChoChoPK (球球PK) (talk | contrib) 17:40, 22 December 2006 (UTC)
  • For United States Banknotes: 1861 Demand Notes were hand signed. Early series of Gold Certificates (1863, 1870, 1875, and some 1882) have a countersignature either engraved or hand signed. 1878 Silver Certificates have a countersignature which was sometimes engraved and sometimes hand signed. On U.S. Banknotes, after the 1880's it would be very unusual to see a hand-signed note (other than courtesy autographs. Signatures on National Bank Notes could have been either engraved, stamped, or hand signed. The earlier the National Bank Note (1860's to 1880's) the more likely it is to be hand signed. This is general rule of thumb, but there are plenty of exceptions. Godot13 (talk) 22:36, 6 January 2013 (UTC)

Appearance of and markings on Federal Reserve Notes: Design Regulations[edit]

I'd like to add in a new section called "Design Regulations", which discusses the legal issues surrounding bill redesign. I will go over the following: 1. All notes must include the motto "In God We Trust" (required in 1955 by H.R. 619) 2. Portraits on the bills must be of a deceased individual whose name should appear below the portrait. 3. It is illegal to change the design of the $1 bills or fund any project that would redesign the $1. I've found the legislation for these regulations and will include them as references. What does everyone think? Thanks! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:58, 16 March 2012 (UTC)

Appearance of and markings on Federal Reserve Notes: Could sb. please add these files?[edit]

I scanned the reverse sides of the $5 and $20 bills but have at this time neither means nor time to add them as icons to the table. If somebody could please be so kind?
MichaelXXLF (talk) 17:12, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

Appearance of and markings on Federal Reserve Notes: Odd Serial Numbers[edit]

I think someone should add information aobut how special serial numbers can collect big money. I've seen places that sell perfect condition new $20.00 bills with a serial number such as 11111111 for as much as $1,000. -- 17:25, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

Such information is best written at notaphily. --ChoChoPK (球球PK) (talk | contrib) 22:40, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
Wow, I'm going to start checking my serial numbers! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:30, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

Appearance of and markings on Federal Reserve Notes: 9/11[edit]

Really strange: Some simple foldings of several US Dollar bills make images of 9/11 and OBL. See here: --Bapho  talk  20:57, 6 January 2008 (UTC)

What's your point? (talk) 23:12, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

WHAT'S HIS OR HER POINT? You must be kidding! The point is that there is significance in what is printed on our nation'curency --- HIDDEN significance! Did it occur by accident? I think not, but judge for yourself. --- On February 4, 1997 I folded a Five Dollar Bill (a Christmas gift from a Muslim friend) in such a way that the image of Liberace suddenly appeared to me. In little more than four years, screwball Muslims, led by Osama bin Laden, attacked the United States. February 4, 1997 was the TENTH ANNIVERSARY OF lIBERACE'S DEATH! I have not disclosed to anyone how I folded my Five Dollar Bill (since spent) to produce the Liberace image, since I believe this bill-folding business is part of Al Qaeda's means of communicating with its shareholders, but the link between bin Laden and Liberace simply cannot be denied. We ignore such things at our peril. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:12, 16 October 2010 (UTC)

Appearance of and markings on Federal Reserve Notes: Currency accessibility lawsuit vs. U.S. Treasury[edit]

Has anything happened on this in the last year? I'm having difficulty finding much info more recent than Jan. 2007, and the website looks like it hasn't been updated in a while... AnonMoos (talk) 01:37, 15 March 2008 (UTC)

It looks like CNN Money ran an article about a current decision being appealed - it's now in the body of the article. Nicholas SL Smithchatter 05:10, 5 May 2008 (UTC)

I've updated the website. It took us a few hours to put together a press release. Basically, the Treasury Department has been denied an easy win, but the American Council of the Blind hasn't yet succeeded in getting the BEP to commit to adding tactile features such as size changes or epoxy bumps ( David (talk) 18:22, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

Counterfeiting of and circulation of Federal Reserve Notes[edit]

Counterfeiting of and circulation of Federal Reserve Notes: Security Strips[edit]

I think we should mention that some of the notes/bill has security strips embedded in the paper. For one it mitigates (but does not eliminate) the criticism that bank notes can be "washed" and "reprinted" with a larger denomination. In addition for those who are curious I've found a reference:[2] that lists the color coding of these strips under ultraviolet light. $5 is blue, $10 is orange, $20 is green, $50 is yellow, and $100 is red, which could be added to the article in a table.Ender qa 18:25, 6 June 2007 (UTC)

Counterfeiting of and circulation of Federal Reserve Notes: Width and mass?[edit]

How wide are they when stacked, and how much do they weigh? Volume would be useful too, please. MilesAgain (talk) 00:40, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

0.11 mm[3] MilesAgain (talk) 00:41, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

Counterfeiting of and circulation of Federal Reserve Notes: manufacturing[edit]

Perhaps some information about how the notes are printed and a general outline of what the paper is made out of. I've heard rumors that they're mostly of cotton construction, but I can't find anywhere any details. (talk) 23:12, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

This page[4] claims the ratio is 25% linen-aka-cotten (for strength) and 75% paper (of unspecified type). See also United_States_one-dollar_bill#Experimental_issues which has some relevant info, plus the sidebar at the top of that page which claims the correct[citation needed] values are 27.7% linen and 72.3% cotton. (talk) 18:40, 28 June 2013 (UTC)
Later update, from horse's mouth -- (talk) 22:16, 28 June 2013 (UTC)

Counterfeiting of and circulation of Federal Reserve Notes: Smaller?[edit]

I've seen old $0.25 bills from the 1800s, I think. I haven't found any mention of these on Wikipedia. Does anyone know more about this? —Ben FrantzDale 14:17, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

The smallest banknote the US federal government has ever issued is $1...except possibly in the late 1700's (in which case such a note would be extremely rare and very expensive). During the 1800's most banknotes circulating in the United States were issued by banks, sometimes state-owned/controlled banks("state" here meaning the administrative districts in the US, not the US itself). There is therefore thousands of designs and many denominations of banknotes used in the 1800s. Types of obsolete currencies issued by the US federal government can be found on the top template of this page: Even recently or today, there are some banks which have issued their own currency, such as the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and the Hong Kong & Shanghai Banking Corp (well-known as HSBC).See: and IBstupid (talk) 23:34, 15 September 2008 (UTC)
Correction...there were some small notes issued by the Federal gov't to replaced gold & silver coins which were hoarded during the Civil war in the 1860s...I was not aware of these: IBstupid (talk) 00:18, 16 September 2008 (UTC)
Just to be clear, since the federal reserve only came into existence in 1913, the fractional currency article is the correct place for this info -- there have never been any fractional Federal Reserve Notes (which are a specific subset of all paper-money issued by the USA at some point). (talk) 18:42, 28 June 2013 (UTC)

Counterfeiting of and circulation of Federal Reserve Notes: $100,000 note[edit]

The table should be amended to also include the $100,000 note which has President Woodrow Wilson upon it. Does anybody know if there are any additional bills? Possibly larger than $100,000? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:52, 27 November 2008 (UTC)

There were only 42,000 banknotes printed of value $100,000 that were used entirely for circulating between branches of the federal reserve. Although $4.2 billion would have been considerable amount of money in 1934, these notes were never seen by the general public. A total of only 46,240 banknotes of $10,000 value were ever circulated. A very small number of these notes remain in the hands of collectors.Pacomartin (talk) 21:39, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

Private possession of $100k-face-value FeRNs is illegal[5], but that does not mean no private collector has one. Does anybody have more info? (talk) 14:24, 29 June 2013 (UTC)

Counterfeiting of and circulation of Federal Reserve Notes: Table at bottom of article[edit]

While the new bills are circulating, and the 5 is scheduled to circulate, should the old series not be included in the first table, at very least for the 5 until the new bill begins circulating (in fact, I'm going to put that one back myself). I also question whether the other old bills should return to the first table if they are still commonly circulating, but I leave that open for discussion. I don't have any info on whether the old 10s 20s and 50s are still "circulating". if you take one to the bank will they automatically take it out of circulation and replace it with a new series bill? I think that should be the test. If a mix is used, they should remain on the table. Until the new 5 is actual circulating, I see no good reason for the old one to be off the table.

Secondly, the table header is "The current banknotes in circulation". This would appear to be a complete misnomer. Until I scrolled a little lower, I could not understand why there were only three bills in the table. The new series are quite validly in circulation and if that is the heading of the table, should be in that table as well. I suggest someone come up with a more appropriate title for the table (pre-2003 series bills or something like that) TheHYPO (talk) 11:48, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

Counterfeiting of and circulation of Federal Reserve Notes: Continued validity of old notes?[edit]

The article should say something about the status of US currency with non-current designs. Does a Federal Reserve Note remain as legal tender indefinitely? If I have a 1960s Federal Reserve Note (or an older United States Note), can I:

  • expect retailers to accept it?
  • offer it as valid legal tender in settlement of a debt? (such that the debt is cancelled if my currency is refused)?
  • exchange it for current banknotes at the Federal Reserve Bank?

In the United Kingdom, there is usually an overlap period of 1 to 3 years between the issuing of a new note and the withdrawal of the old one; after the withdrawal date, old notes retain their value, but can only be exchanged at a bank. This ensures that everybody can identify a valid note easily, and prevents counterfeiters from copying older designs without modern security features. Does a similar system apply in the United States? i.e. will the old $10 and $20 bills be withdrawn at some point? I am interested, because I recently received a 1985 series $5 bill in my change (with curved "United States of America" text, and a smaller Lincoln portrait, the same size as Washington's portrait on the current $1) - it's the only one I've ever seen, after 2 years living in the US, and I don't know if it is valid.

Mtford 18:29, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

The United States has never declared its currency to be no longer legal tender. Any banknote is redeemble at face value, no matter how old. (Of course, the collector's value of old notes can be higher.) However, older-series notes are withdrawn from circulation by banks, and someone attempting to cash in large numbers of rare or old banknotes might expect some extra scrutiny.  ProhibitOnions  (T) 12:40, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

Mtford, I must say that the current article is very misleading on this point. As ProhibitOnions points out, the policy of the USA for at least 140 years (and probably longer than that) has been that all banknotes and coins ever issued remain legal tender. Of course, obsolete designs are often of greater numismatic value than their face value, and such designs will be encountered only rarely.

For some inexplicable reason, only four banknotes are pictured under "pre-2004 designs still in circulation": $1, $2, $5, and $100. Furthermore, the $5 and $100 designs shown are the fairly recent 2003 varieties with the large portraits. In fact, the small-portrait banknotes of all denominations -- $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100 -- are still frequently encountered where I live, in Colorado. (Of course, there is no later version of the $1 or $2 note -- at least, not yet.) The small-portrait banknotes were universal until the mid-1990s, when the large-portrait $100 bill was first produced, eventually to be followed by the large-portrait $50, $20, $10, and $5 notes.

Perhaps the intended caption was "pre-2004 designs still in PRODUCTION." That would make sense. In fact, I believe I will change the caption now. (talk) —Preceding comment was added at 19:33, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

While the overwhelming majority of US currency has never been devalued, Gold Certificates were taken out of circulation in 1933 and were illegal to own until 1964. During the Great Depression, it was illegal to own gold coins, and I think "gold certificates" were treated as the same. The issue of whether these notes are actually legal tender since they were made legal to own wasn't resolved, however these notes are worth 4-10 times their face value so it would be very stupid and naive for someone to spend one. With regard to being able to use these notes at any store, etc...almost no one besides collectors know about these notes and a cashier would likely reject the note. That is for notes of very old designs, hardly anyone would reject a note from the 1960s or later design(since the currency was almost unchanged from the 60s to 90s).IBstupid (talk) 23:53, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

Counterfeiting of and circulation of Federal Reserve Notes: A question on counterfeiting...[edit]

The large section on counterfeiting in this article leaves out the most obvious hole in the plan to change the bills: counterfeiters can just keep counterfeiting the old bills. Unless the government takes all of the old bills out of circulation (which they can't, not completely), nobody has to race to keep up with new anti-counterfeiting tactics. Many other countries set deadlines at which the old currency will become worthless: turn in your money for the new stuff, or lose it all. (Like the countries that switched to Euros, for example.) To my knowledge, the U.S. has never done that; you can still use a silver certificate to buy a candy bar at a gas station if you want to. So what's the point of making multi-colored money or different sizes? Kafziel 22:27, 23 December 2005 (UTC)

The point is that most of the old banknotes are soon taken out of circulation, so any transaction with exlusively old banknotes will get much attention :)

The banknote images on this page are a bit misleading, since they don't show the more modern bills that (a) do look more distinct at first glance and (b) have more extensive anti-counterfeiting features (which obviate some of the criticisms on this page). Lordsutch 22:40, 28 January 2006 (UTC)

Commas in currency values[edit]

I edited this article to insert commas in "$1,000" and "$5,000" for consistency with "$10,000". This has now been reverted by 636Buster, stating: "the reason those notes are printed without commas is because they aren't printed so on the note."

Wikipedia has its own style guide that we follow, irrespective of what the Federal Reserve may print on banknotes, so we are not bound to follow their style. Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Dates and numbers#Delimiting (grouping of digits) currently says:

  • Numbers with five or more digits to the left of the decimal point (i.e. 10,000 or greater) should be delimited into groups so they can be easily parsed, such as by using a comma (,) every three digits (e.g. 12,200, 255,200, 8,274,527). A full stop (.) should not be used to separate thousands (e.g. 12.200, 255.200) to avoid confusion with the decimal point.
  • Numbers with four digits to the left of the decimal point may or may not be delimited (e.g. 1250 or 1,250).

So even if the banknotes read "$10000" without a comma, Wikipedia's style guide requires it ("$10,000"). There is a discussion at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Dates and numbers#Comma delimiting for four-digit numbers proposing to amend the second point to read:

  • Numbers with four digits to the left of the decimal point may or may not be delimited (e.g. 1,250 or 1250). They should be delimited when used alongside other numbers that are delimited, such as in lists or tables (e.g., $500, $1,000, $5,000, $10,000 instead of $500, $1000, $5000, $10,000).

Feel free to comment on the proposal there. sroc 💬 14:24, 1 March 2014 (UTC)

Image table development[edit]

I have moved some of the images around. The sections beginning with Production and distribution appear to be describing the small-size FRN of 1928 and later (or even more of the present day issue).

I reworked and inserted the existing 1914 type set (adding the four high denomination 1918 notes in the process). This was added between the section titled Value and the section on Production and distribution to serve as a more chronological bridge between the first (and only) large size FRN issues and the notes of today. Will add more information to the table.-Godot13 (talk) 18:51, 6 July 2014 (UTC)

SNL? Really?[edit]

"The popularity of the Saturday Night Live skit "Lazy Sunday" has led to $10 notes sometimes being referred to as "Hamiltons". " I recall hearing them called Hamiltons DECADES before that SNL skit. --Khajidha (talk) 10:41, 29 April 2015 (UTC)

Never mind, I have removed the uncited assertion. --Khajidha (talk) 12:05, 29 April 2015 (UTC)

Current paper money[edit]

So where's the info on the current paper money? That seems like important info. (talk) 06:42, 19 June 2015 (UTC)

"obligation of the United States"[edit]

What does this even mean? It's in the opening paragraph. --Rebroad (talk) 14:50, 12 September 2016 (UTC)

The "obligation" used to refer to the fact that there was text on the note saying that the United States would "pay to the bearer on demand" the value of the note. You could essentially read the note from top to bottom and see that "The United States" "will pay to the bearer on demand" "five dollars" (or whatever the denomination of the bill).Almostfm (talk) 17:34, 12 September 2016 (UTC)

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$100,000,000 FRN[edit]

A couple of days ago, an addition to the article was made suggesting that there had been a $100 million FRN "special wartime issue" had been made. I reverted the change because I've never seen any evidence that this actually happened, other than some laughably bad forgeries. 2607:fb90:6050:28d:0:40:748c:6201, who made the original addition reverted my change without explanation. I've left a note on his talk page asking if he's got any evidence, but I haven't heard back. I wanted to get consensus on this rather than engaging in an edit war. Almostfm (talk) 06:25, 21 March 2017 (UTC)